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Central by five

Monday, 18th December, 2017

David O’Mally, shown bowling against North earlier this season, took two wickets and went for only one run from five overs on Saturday. David O’Mally, shown bowling against North earlier this season, took two wickets and went for only one run from five overs on Saturday.

By Tyler Hannigan

The battle for top spot took place at the Alma on Saturday with Central taking the points as they defeated North by five wickets.

North batted first and were quickly in trouble as the dismissals of Matt Letcher (1), Brendon Martin (2) and Ben Victory (0) had them reeling at 3-3.

A 33-run partnership by Codie Howard and Tobias Hack was able to steady the ship but then came another clump of wickets as Howard was bowled for 21, Vella run out without scoring and Josh Savage also gone for no score to have North in serious danger at 6-45.

Shane Dalby (12) and Hack added 30 before Hack was gone for 42 from 68 balls. Tom Davey (6) and Nash Mitchell (2) weren’t able to add much as North were bowled out for 95 in 33 overs. 

David O’Mally was exceptional with the ball as he bowled five overs, took two wickets and gave away just a single run. Tristen Smith nabbed two wickets while Jarred Paull, Ross Casey, Josh Joliffe and Jon Carrett each took one.

Chasing just 95 to win, Central’s in-form openers Carrett and Riley Elvery failed to get into gear. Carrett crawled to nine from 34 balls while Elvery was trapped LBW for 12. 

Paull, batting at first drop, dominated a 49-run stand with Clint Jones to seal the game for the Magpies.

Jones was eventually gone for three off 46 deliveries and Paull departed with just five runs required after making a season-high 48 from 58 balls that included five fours and a six.

North were able to pick up O’Mally for one but Tristen Smith (16 not out) and Stephen Chestnut saw the side home with five wickets and more than eight overs to spare.

The Bulldogs had the chance to go top of the table with a win on Saturday but were probably 30 to 40 runs short with the bat and the class of Paull was too much to overcome. They’re still in a strong position to challenge after Christmas though and should now be considered serious contenders especially if Howard plays more games.

Central extended their lead atop the ladder and will look to sew up top yet another grand final appearance after Christmas. With Paull coming into some serious form and their bowling looking very well-rounded, few would back against a record sixth consecutive flag for the Magpies.

Central take on South after the break while North battle West.

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